An Expat's Guide to Montreal

Montreal is unique compared with other the major cities of Canada, in that it was founded by the French. The city’s character and main language is French, but this shouldn’t deter any expats thinking of moving to Montreal.

First Steps

If you’re planning to move to Montreal, Canada you’ll have to be able to prove that you have a certain level of French language skills in order to fulfill the requirements of the Quebec Province. This province has its own specific requirements, and these have to be satisfied before you’ll get permission to live and work in Montreal. Once your application has been approved and you’ve found work, you’ll be in a position to access all Canadian welfare and health programmes.

Why Montreal?

The sense of joie de vivre that encapsulates Montreal is infectious. If you really want to get to grips with this vibrant city, then learning French is not just a requirement but a genuine advantage. By all means take some grammar and general French lessons before you relocate to Montreal, but be prepared to adopt many local expressions on arrival. This is Canadian French, not the language of Parisian ‘haute ecole.’

The cost of living is low in the city. Even though Montreal is rated as one of the liveliest cities in Canada, it’s much cheaper than Toronto or Vancouver. You’ll also be delighted with accommodation costs in the city. Compared with Toronto, where house prices are on the rise, according to The Huffington Post, Montreal prices have remained relatively flat with only a small price hike. $315,000 will buy you a desirable Montreal town house; in the UK this price currently translates to a little under £155,000.

Life is Good in Montreal

With a vibrant arts and culture scene and a first rate university, as well as strengths in the fields of technology, video gaming, and the banking sector, Montreal can offer employment to anybody who has the relevant qualifications.

Obviously, everyone needs to unwind from the pressures of daily life. From the wonderful old city, complete with cobblestones and historic buildings, to the cool downtown vibe around Centre Ville, Montreal is certainly captivating. You can even drink "Ice Wine" - or Ice Cider - in a local Quebecois winery. Montreal is special, and has its own proud identity and history. Its rich history, culture and architecture combine to make Montreal one of the most exciting cities in Canada.